Home > Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian(15)

Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian(15)
E.L. James

You’ll need all your strength for tonight, for what I have to show you.

Suddenly, she gets up from the table and I have to stop myself from telling her that she doesn’t have permission.

She’s not your submissive…yet, Grey.

On the way back to the bedroom, she pauses by the sofa.

“Where did you sleep last night?” she asks.

“In my bed.” With you.

“Oh.”

“Yes, it was quite a novelty for me, too.”

“Not having…sex.”

She said the s-word…and the telltale pink cheeks appear.

“No.”

How can I tell her this, without it sounding weird?

Just tell her, Grey.

“Sleeping with someone.” Nonchalantly, I turn my attention back to the sports section and the write-up on last night’s game, then watch as she disappears into the bedroom.

No, that didn’t sound weird at all.

Well, I have another date with Miss Steele. No, not a date. She needs to know about me. I let out a long breath and drink what’s left of my orange juice. This is shaping up to be a very interesting day. I’m pleased when I hear the buzz of the hair dryer and surprised that she’s doing what she’s been told.

While I’m waiting for her, I phone the valet to bring my car up from the garage and check her address once more on Google Maps. Next, I text Andrea to send me an NDA via e-mail; if Ana wants enlightenment, she’ll need to keep her mouth shut. My phone buzzes. It’s Ros.

As I’m on the phone, Ana emerges from the bedroom and picks up her purse. Ros is talking about Darfur, but my attention is on Miss Steele. She rummages around in her purse and she’s pleased when she finds a hair tie.

Her hair is beautiful. Lush. Long. Thick. Idly, I wonder what it would be like to braid. She ties it back and puts on her jacket, then sits down on the sofa, waiting for me to finish my call.

“Okay, let’s do it. Keep me abreast of progress.” I conclude my conversation with Ros. She’s been working miracles and it looks like our food shipment to Darfur is happening.

“Ready to go?” I ask Ana. She nods. I grab my jacket and car keys and follow her out the door. She peeks at me through long lashes as we walk toward the elevator, and her lips curl into a shy smile. My lips twitch in response.

What the hell is she doing to me?

The elevator arrives, and I allow her to step in first. I press the first-floor button and the doors close. In the confines of the elevator, I’m completely aware of her. A trace of her sweet fragrance invades my senses…Her breathing alters, hitching a little, and she peeks up at me with a bright come-hither look.

Shit.

She bites her lip.

She’s doing this on purpose. And for a split second I’m lost in her sensual, mesmerizing stare. She doesn’t back down.

I’m hard.

Instantly.

I want her.

Here.

Now.

In the elevator.

“Oh, fuck the paperwork.” The words come from nowhere and on instinct I grab her and push her against the wall. Clasping both her hands, I pin them above her head so she can’t touch me, and once she’s secure, I twist my other hand in her hair while my lips seek and find hers.

She moans into my mouth, the call of a siren, and finally I can sample her: mint and tea and an orchard of mellow fruitfulness. She tastes every bit as good as she looks. Reminding me of a time of plenty. Good Lord. I’m yearning for her. I grasp her chin, deepening the kiss, and her tongue tentatively touches mine…exploring. Considering. Feeling. Kissing me back.

Oh, God in heaven.

“You. Are. So. Sweet,” I murmur against her lips, completely intoxicated, punch-drunk with her scent and taste.

The elevator stops and the doors begin to open.

Get a fucking grip, Grey.

I push myself off her and stand beyond her reach.

She’s breathing hard.

As am I.

When was the last time I lost control?

Three men in business suits give us knowing looks as they join us.

And I stare at the poster that’s above the buttons in the elevator advertising a sensual weekend at The Heathman. I glance at Ana and exhale.

She grins.

And my lips twitch once more.

What the fuck has she done to me?

The elevator stops at the second floor and the guys get out, leaving me alone with Miss Steele.

“You’ve brushed your teeth,” I observe with wry amusement.

“I used your toothbrush,” she says, eyes shining.

Of course she has…and for some reason, I find this pleasing, too pleasing. I stifle my smile. “Oh, Anastasia Steele, what am I going to do with you?” I take her hand as the elevator doors open on the ground floor, and I mutter under my breath, “What is it about elevators?” She gives me a knowing look as we stroll across the polished marble of the lobby.

The car is waiting in one of the bays in front of the hotel; the valet is pacing impatiently. I give him an obscene tip and open the passenger door for Ana, who is quiet and introspective.

But she hasn’t run.

Even though I jumped her in the elevator.

I should say something about what happened in there—but what?

Sorry?

How was that for you?

What the hell are you doing to me?

I start the car and decide that the less said, the better. The soothing sound of Delibes’s “Flower Duet” fills the car and I begin to relax.

“What are we listening to?” Ana inquires, as I turn onto Southwest Jefferson Street. I tell her and ask her if she likes it.

“Christian, it’s wonderful.”

To hear my name on her lips is a strange delight. She’s said it about half a dozen times now, and each time it’s different. Today, it’s with wonder—at the music. It’s great that she likes this piece: it’s one of my favorites. I find myself beaming; she’s obviously excused me for the elevator outburst.

“Can I hear that again?”

“Of course.” I tap the touch screen to replay the music.

“You like classical music?” she asks, as we cross the Fremont Bridge, and we fall into an easy conversation about my taste in music. While we’re talking I get a call on the hands-free.

“Grey,” I answer.

“Mr. Grey, it’s Welch here. I have the information you require.” Oh yes, details about the photographer.

“Good. E-mail it to me. Anything to add?”

“No, sir.”

I press the button and the music is back. We both listen, now lost in the raw sound of the Kings of Leon. But it doesn’t last long—our listening pleasure is disturbed once more by the hands-free.

What the hell?

“Grey,” I snap.

“The NDA has been e-mailed to you, Mr. Grey.”

“Good. That’s all, Andrea.”

“Good day, sir.”

I sneak a look at Ana, to see if she’s picked up on that conversation, but she’s studying the Portland scenery. I suspect she’s being polite. It’s difficult to keep my eyes on the road. I want to stare at her. For all her maladroitness, she has a beautiful neckline, one that I’d like to kiss from the bottom of her ear right down to her shoulder.

Hell. I shuffle in my seat. I hope she agrees to sign the NDA and to take what I have to offer.

When we join I-5 I get another call.

It’s Elliot.

“Hi, Christian, d’you get laid?”

Oh…smooth, dude, smooth.

“Hello, Elliot—I’m on speakerphone, and I’m not alone in the car.”

“Who’s with you?”

“Anastasia Steele.”

“Hi, Ana!”

“Hello, Elliot,” she says, animated.

“Heard a lot about you,” Elliot says.

Shit. What has he heard?

“Don’t believe a word Kate says,” she responds good-naturedly.

Elliot laughs.

“I’m dropping Anastasia off now. Shall I pick you up?” I interject.

There’s no doubt Elliot will want to make a quick getaway.

“Sure.”

“See you shortly.” I hang up.

“Why do you insist on calling me Anastasia?” she asks.

“Because it’s your name.”

“I prefer Ana.”

“Do you, now?”

“Ana” is too everyday and ordinary for her. And too familiar. Those three letters have the power to wound…

And in that moment I know that her rejection, when it comes, will be hard to take. It’s happened before, but I’ve never felt this…invested. I don’t even know this girl, but I want to know her, all of her. Maybe it’s because I’ve never chased a woman.

Grey, get control of yourself and follow the rules, otherwise this will all go to shit.

“Anastasia,” I say, ignoring her disapproving look. “What happened in the elevator—it won’t happen again—well, not unless it’s premeditated.”

That keeps her quiet as I park outside her apartment. Before she can answer me I climb out of the car, walk around and open her door.

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